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-   -   the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=21620)

charlene 11-30-2008 10:51 AM

Gord's Orillia Home
 
http://www.orilliapacket.com/Article...aspx?e=1322272
pic of house at link.
It's one of those oddities of life that the street name where Lightfoot grew up is the same as the person who would eventually be such an important part of Lightfoot's life as an adult..

(scroll down page and Lightfoot at 70 pic/link is there to birthday wishes..there's been more added since the 17th)

article:
The home where Gordon Lightfoot grew up on Harvey Street is one of 22 being considered as a property of interest to be added to the municipal heritage registry but its current owner isn't happy.
Packet photo/Courtney Whalen

Heritage tag upsets owner
Property owners given no notice before being placed on list
Posted By COURTNEY WHALEN, THE PACKET AND TIMES
Posted 1 day ago


When Paul Hill purchased his home on Harvey Street 10 years ago, he had no idea it was the childhood home of one of Orillia's favourite citizens.

"Two weeks after I bought it, someone phoned me and said this is the Lightfoot Home," said Hill.

Now, after a decade of renovating what, he said, was in desperate need of repair at the time of purchase, he's upset the home is one of 22 on a list of properties of heritage interest -- without his knowledge.

He found out about the list because a headline in The Packet & Times about the 22 properties caught his eye.

On Monday night, Orillia city council will be asked to ratify the list that would mark the properties of "interest" on the municipal register of cultural heritage properties. The move will mean that property owners would have to give 60 days' notice of any intention to demolish or remove a structure from the property. It is also the first step toward looking at full heritage designation.

"I don't need some bureaucracy telling me what I can do with my house after I've owned it for 10 years," he said. "I bought the house from Gord and his mom... where was the city then?"

He doesn't mind the people who take an interest in the house, who stop and take pictures, steal blades of grass and even occasionally look in the windows, but he doesn't want the restriction an eventual heritage designation would bring.

"There is a long-term worry about that," he said. "I don't want to be forced to maintain mediocrity for their purpose, unless they're going to pay for the maintenance of that mediocrity."

He said as his home ages, it needs more maintenance and renovation. One example, he said, is the home's front porch, which he plans to replace because its condition is deteriorating.

As a Mariposa Folk Festival volunteer, Hill said he recognizes the importance of Lightfoot both to Orillians and Canadians as a whole, but resents that he wasn't even consulted about the process.

"This is something I'd be more than happy to talk to people about, but no one has talked to me," he said. "We have 22 sites here and how many are aware of what's going on?"

At the Nov. 24 meeting, Mayor Ron Stevens asked if owners had been consulted. He was told the notification to owners would occur after council officially approved adding the list.

Friday afternoon, Stevens said he didn't have a problem with that as long as the properties were only being identified for consideration. Before full designation of a heritage building, owners must be part of the dialogue, he said.

"Not everyone who has a heritage home is going to want to have it declared (as) such," he said, noting that a number of restrictions can then apply to the property.

Qennefer Browne, who found out the Elizabeth Wynn Wood home she owns is also included in the list of properties of interest after an article appeared in The Packet & Times, said its inclusion isn't a concern for her. Browne is the late sculptor's daughter.

"I think it's a compliment to the history of the house," she said.

She said she looks on the heritage committee and its work "with affection" and has been on the other side of the heritage debate.

"I know how agonizing it is for community groups to see the heritage demolished," she said.

However, with more stringent restrictions attached to a full heritage designation, she said discussion would need to take place, noting she's never initiated the designation process herself, although she's been approached about it before.

Coun. Don Evans, who is council's representative on the municipal heritage committee, is in full support of adding the "properties of interest" to the municipal registry.

"I think it's certainly time to get down to cases and move forward on many of these addresses to acknowledge their attributes," he said.

He said heritage properties recognized provincially (as they are when fully designated) can be a tourist draw.

While he admits there may be some individuals who dislike the idea of having their property designated as heritage, he believes they would be in the minority.

The issue will be in front of council for approval Monday night.

jj 11-30-2008 03:20 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
We went by last weekend but didn't have any camera battery power left (it died when I was taking those GL Ave pics, lol...anyhow, I had been at a family function at my niece's new old home about a block away from the GL homestead...so when I got home I sent her a quick note, still waiting:

> Hey, when one of you gets a chance could you snap a pic of 238 Harvey
> Street? (not looking in the window or anything like that! just the site,
> more or less)
>
> I didn't realize it was so close to you...Lightfoot's childhood home, ya know

lighthead2toe 11-30-2008 04:56 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
After an eleven hour session of hibernating sleep the blinds went up to reveal yet another wet dreary day here in this rain forest town of Vancouver.

So it's into the kitchen and within moments the scent of strong coffee becomes prevalent.

After another glimpse out the window the decision is made that this is going to be "Another Lazy Mornin" for this "Jones" and "staying ahead of the keep-uppers" is just not on the agenda today.

So the old "Apple Imac" gets fired up and the Vancouver weather is "Looking at the Rain" as it has been for the last three days.

Ok, over to "Corfid" and yes it's Char at work and the post shows a pic of Gord's old house in Orillia. I recognize that house from Sept. while driving through Orillia on the way down to Toronto after attending a wedding in Huntsville. Ah what wonderful nostalgia. Thanks Char.

So I notice she's telling us that there's more birthday wishes up for Gord so I click that on, and from there another decision was made that I'm going to read them all as it was something I had planned on doing and what better a time for that to happen than right now.

So a "Second Cup of Coffee" steamed it's way onto my table and boy, what amazing fun this really is.

With enough time to read each and everyone the afternoon has arrived and even the rain seems to have petered off.

So I've just finished reading the last one and boy, did it ever hit home with me and firmed up the belief that the deep respect fans have for Gordon Lightfoot is very real.

Char your greeting was really well put together and even gave me the goose bumps, especially reading the part about the storm in Barrie. It could even be a song.

So now maybe it's a pint of brew that I took time to make town and stock, and who knows, if the rain holds off, at suppertime I might light my barbeque.

So it's the last day of November and it's been quite the month with "The Wreck" on the 10th, Gord's and Mike's B Days, the announcement that two concerts are on the agenda here in Vancouver next April and now we're left with the anticipation of the official dates of next November's announcement of the Massey Hall concerts in Toronto.

Well, I'll tell ya, life sure is pretty good to this "getting close to the 70 mark" guy.

Cheers to all with wishes that this last day of November is as good to you as it is for me. Ron J.

Peter Bro10 11-30-2008 08:36 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
I realize it doesn't really matter any, but this Paul Hill fellow says in the first paragraph that he didn't realize that this was Gordon Lightfoot's boyhood home when he bought the house 10 years ago, then in the sixth paragraph he says: "I don't need some bureaucracy telling me what I can do with my house after I've owned it for 10 years," he said. "I bought the house from Gord and his mom... where was the city then?"

What are you saying Mr. Hill? that you didn't know who Gordon Lightfoot was?? Can't imagine any Canadian not knowing who Gordon Lightfoot is!

But Mr. Hill is absolutely correct in that he should have been notified prior to listing "his" house as a "municipal register of cultural heritage properties", and all that that would entail.

Still, pretty cool problem to have I'd say...

Jesse Joe 11-30-2008 09:14 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Yes indeed Peter, I would like to own that house knowing that's where this great "Poet Songwriter" grew up.

http://www.orilliapacket.com/Article...y451.jpg&w=300

Gordon Lightfoot what a guy ! :)

Thanks for posting this Char ! ;)

BendRick 12-01-2008 12:10 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
This is a reply to lighthead2joe, hope I got that right. Sir, your message could have been myself, it is that close. What troubles me is that I am only 47, and you are 70.

lighthead2toe 12-01-2008 06:44 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Ah Bendrick, but isn't age merely a state of mind? Sort of blends in with the old saying "never say die till you're dead."

What troubles me though is that I'm still into some of the wild and crazy things I did when I was seventeen, like doing "runaways" on my bicycle out here in these wild majestic mountains, and I know the axe is going to come down on that soon but hell, it sure is an exciting thing to do and I'm really hooked on the rush it gives.

On second thought though maybe a mental assessment might be in order.

Keep singin'. RJ.

charlene 12-02-2008 07:31 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
i posted about dylan dropping by neils house in winnipeg, manitoba...nowhere near orillia..
;)
neil did live here in durham region for several years before moving out west tho-town of pickering...

Sundown17 12-02-2008 07:47 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
I can't speak for Orillia or whether Mr Hill was aware what he was buying or not, but I know that in Massachusetts when they wanted to make my dad's childhood home a historical landmark (which may or may not be the same as a "municipal heritage designation", I don't know, but is different from an "historical district". District is an area and buildings in it may not all be landmarks. Landmark is the particular building that may not be in an historical district.) because it is one of the original taverns of the city, my cousin who currently lives in the house said "no thanks". They do restrict the renovations you can make. Case in point, first thing they wanted him to do was take down the tasteful in-law apt he had added on for his mother. It looked like a carriage house, but because it didn't match the original footprint of the house, (he had built it on the opposite side of the house from where the original carriage house had once been, but was looooong gone) it was a no go. He was also in the process of replacing all the original single paned windows with more energy efficient ones and they said he would have to do individually paned wood windows to match the look of the original ones, at three times the expense of the vinyl integrated grilled ones he was doing.

He said the low interest loans for home improvements and tax break wouldn't make up the difference of the cost of the historical materials they would make him use (not to mention the insurance premium and upkeep of a historically accurate house). And twice a year the house would be open to tours and he wouldn't see a dime of the admission price. We all wondered where was the city when the tavern stood vacant for 10 years between my great-grandmother's death and my aunt and uncle moving in and doing all the repairs to make it sound again?

All I can say is that from my experience, Mr. Hill is being smartly cautious.

The article does state that he would have to give 60 days notice before demolition or renovations...sounds like the beginning of a slippery slope to me.

While I applaud the city for wanting to recognize Gord's family home, it would be nice to bring the current homeowner in on the negotiations and give him the option of accepting the responsibility or not because in a sense, what he would become is a curator of a museum of sorts with no pay and a lot of out of pocket expenses.

Sorry about the rant...if you couldn't tell, this is a personal sore subject with me. Thanks for your patience. :)

Diane

brina 12-03-2008 01:39 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
What a lot of hooplah. I think it is great that they want to make it a heritage home. He sure deserves it. His songs have brought many , many hours of great listening. I grew up just a couple blocks from the Lightfoots on Nottawasaga Street. Passed their house many times over the years. Knew the family and were great people.. Hope you had a super 70th Gord. not far behind lol.

Jesse Joe 12-03-2008 07:45 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brina (Post 146360)
What a lot of hooplah. I think it is great that they want to make it a heritage home. He sure deserves it. His songs have brought many , many hours of great listening. I grew up just a couple blocks from the Lightfoots on Nottawasaga Street. Passed their house many times over the years. Knew the family and were great people.. Hope you had a super 70th Gord. not far behind lol.


Hi brina,

Welcome to Corfid, where you are among friends here. :)

You grew up just a couple of blocks from the Lightfoot's eh ! "Lucky You" !

charlene 12-03-2008 09:29 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Here in Whitby there are many Heritage Homes and homeowners have to follow guidelines when renovating etc. but having folks traipse thru their home isn't part of the deal. While several of the homes do put their homes on the XMAS decor tour or summer gardens tour that is voluntary, the homes are professionally done and the money raised is for local charities.
I'm not sure if the city can just swoop in and slap a heritage label on a home tho..
and I don't know if the homeowner receives financial help with reno work or not..I doubt it but they may receive a tax break..
I think the current homeowner has some legit concerns at this point considering there hasn't been any dialogue with him..

jj 12-03-2008 03:07 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brina (Post 146360)
What a lot of hooplah. I think it is great that they want to make it a heritage home. He sure deserves it. His songs have brought many , many hours of great listening. I grew up just a couple blocks from the Lightfoots on Nottawasaga Street. Passed their house many times over the years. Knew the family and were great people.

the gathering i was at was between Douglas and OBrien Streets

i can ask how old the place is....funny, there hasn't been much internet fan talk of the homestead over the years...did the gang get a group shot at the house when they journeyed to Orillia years ago? I'll bet limited time was a factor

gee, Gord's penned 300 tunes...Lucy Maud writes one book about a popular redhead and every place she ever even lived is a shrine, lol

any stories to share, brina?

ps) another vintage post, Ron!

Sundown17 12-03-2008 05:12 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Thanks Pam. The funny thing was that when my aunt and uncle took it over in the mid- 1900's when they needed a place to live and the empty tavern/home was the only thing available, it already had some of the "updating" of the early 20th century and was full of rotting wood and squirrels from being left empty for so long. My great-grandmother had left it to her side of the family and they were absence owners.

Anyway, through the years and with a lot of blood, sweat, tears and 2 am mornings, they restored the tavern back to its 18th century glory. The biggest treat was finding a 5 foot high x 8 foot long working fireplace complete with dutch oven behind a plaster wall in the keeping room. They re-stenciled all the wallpaper by hand and moved the more "modern" conveniences of bathrooms and kitchen to closets and a back hall. And dealt with the many collapsing barns and outbuildings on the property. Clearing them away and relandscaping to a beautiful lawn surrounded by a stonewall flower garden. They did an awesome, awesome job on the incomes of a telephone operator and a state college maintenance worker without so much as a cursory glance from the city.

Then in the 80's when their youngest son took over the house and started making his changes for energy efficiency and so his mother could stay in the home she poured her heart and soul into, the city said "whoa....wait...we don't want you to do that."

Another irony to the saga is that there is a Revoluntionary War Cemetary not a 1/4 mile down the road that is an historical landmark. But it is quite run down with broken headstones and iron work. Why? Because it is owned by the city and they don't have anyone to foot the bill to make it look pretty.

And yes, we shouldn't necessary restore things back if it means erasing significant historical changes. I am not a fan of Art Deco, but I will be the first one to say that it is a slice of Americana that shouldn't be ceremoniously erased.

I hope that Mr Hill doesn't have a drawn out ordeal with Orillia. I am happy that he recognizes the signficance of the home he's bought and puts up with the lookyloos and grass stealers. lol It would be nice if the designation just meant a listing in a brochure for tourism sake with a reminder to respect the current owners privacy. But with the required 60 day notice before he does demo work on the house...doesn't sound like it.

You'll have to keep us posted Char.

charlene 12-03-2008 06:27 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
now JJ - you know Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote more than 1 book..
lol
They were geared to the female reader but are world wide classics and huge bestsellers and have been for decades. I have my copies from when I was an early teen..
I read them every few years..they're wonderful stories of family, love, heartache, etc. that Anne and those in her life encountered.
I want to get the new book about Lucy, her life, marriage and as recently has come to light, her suicide..

I'll watch for anymore news about the Lightfoot homestead...

timetraveler 12-03-2008 11:19 PM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jesse Joe (Post 146335)
Yes indeed Peter, I would like to own that house knowing that's where this great "Poet Songwriter" grew up.

http://www.orilliapacket.com/Article...y451.jpg&w=300

Gordon Lightfoot what a guy ! :)

Thanks for posting this Char ! ;)

Myself, I think that I would love to live in such a nice looking place. And after having read the article, while i can certainly understand the man being so upset, I don't see anything about the palce that would be considered mediocre. It looks to be a very cozy, family type of home. I guess one could almost call it "user friendly".

brina 12-04-2008 02:28 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jesse Joe (Post 146367)
Hi brina,

Welcome to Corfid, where you are among friends here. :)

You grew up just a couple of blocks from the Lightfoot's eh ! "Lucky You" !

Yes I did. Also worked 1 summer for his dad Gord senior while I went to school. Gord actually asked my sister out on a date but she didn't go, her loss. I haven't seen Gord in many years other then on TV. I moved away in 1967 when I got married. Now parents are gone so never get there anymore.

Jesse Joe 12-04-2008 07:49 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
2 Attachment(s)
Your sisters loss is right ! :biggrin: Like jj was asking you must have more stories to share ? :rolleyes: :)

Sundown17 12-04-2008 08:07 AM

Re: Gord's Orillia Home
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by podunklander (Post 146402)

It was kind of sad when in the early 90's my friend got around to renovating the home she grew up in. It had been classic and untouched 1970's with the orange and gold carpets...funky wallpaper :p


Um...that one I'd have to admit I could demolish to restore to a prior or remodel to an updated condition. The style of the 70's is something that I strongly feel we can get by with seeing only in photos. lol

jj 06-17-2010 09:54 PM

the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
4 Attachment(s)
i wondered what Canadians (I imagine there are oodles of Americans) have had their childhood home transitioned into tourist attractions...Lucy Maud Montgomery comes to mind...Gord's actually even has green gables;)

i was celebrating a 50th at Tudhope Park on Couchiching (current home of the Mariposa folk Festival) in Orillia on the weekend...but it was a family member birthday, not quite the Mariposa's 50th for another few weeks

the next morn i wandered about Harvey St. and took a few snaps and introduced my youngen to the area where GL was a lad...i thought maybe some vibes would rub off on him, lol

i imagine the owners were off at church (or at home depot, lol) and i was tempted to take a timed shot with me on the front porch with a blade of grass in my teeth for a potential GL tribute album cover:whistle: not

i thought it might be interesting if a crew of corfidians ambushed the property with sheers, a push mower, fresh paint and some planks to spruce up porch, etc however the place had plenty of character just as is...i am not sure what the latest is on the heritage site initiative and didn't bother to bother the neighbours with any inquiries...i thought it might be practical to convert the house into a GL museum and move it down near the Leacock museum which is more tourist accessible

i figure Gord's room was upstairs facing the back with Gord Sr and Jess overlooking the street...i'd like to see Gord do a house walkthrough on a tv doc/bio one day

you can cruise the area using street view...the shot here with the porch chairs is a google screen capture...for any who hadn't seen this, enjoy:)

charlene 06-17-2010 10:21 PM

Re: the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
oh crap..wish i'd been there! love that house. so cute. orillia gets way toooooo much winter for me tho.
and how did Harrison react to the history/tutorial?

jj 06-17-2010 10:32 PM

Re: the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
i actually thought he might say something highly prolific and well beyond his years....but after a lengthy gazing of the property and an even longer silence following my soliloquy he looked at me and said:

"can we stop at Wonderland on the way home?"

charlene 06-17-2010 10:55 PM

Re: the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jj (Post 162852)
i actually thought he might say something highly prolific and well beyond his years....but after a lengthy gazing of the property and an even longer silence following my soliloquy he looked at me and said:

"can we stop at Wonderland on the way home?"

LOLOL!!!!

oh yeah! did u stop? he might want to be with lisa tonight..Toy Story 3 in sarasota..12:01 a.m... her cousin and his g.f. are on their way now...

Jesse Joe 06-18-2010 06:30 AM

Re: the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
1 Attachment(s)
Great photos tks, jj... I had only this one of that famous house that was posted some time ago maybe by you or Char or ??? So Ive added these 4 to the collection.

Jesse Joe 06-18-2010 06:50 AM

Re: the Lightfoot Childhood Homestead - PHOTOS
 
Didn't swing by Rosedale jj ? You guys living so close to Rosedale well closer than me anyway, I would be there @ least twice a month to view the progress of that marvelous Mansion.

But then again maybe security would check me out ??? :eek: Pics from that place will always be of great interest to me. :)


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